12 June 2009

Byrd's Condition Spurs GOP Questions

The Charleston Daily Mail invites various state GOP officials to weigh in on the continued absence of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va.

The Associated Press reported Monday that "hospitalized in mid-May with a high temperature," history's longest-serving U.S. senator "is not expected back at work this week" as he continues to recover from a staph infection he had since developed.

The Daily Mail quotes several Republicans who "are questioning why his staff hasn't been more forthcoming with details on his condition," and "say his constituents deserve to know a little more. After all, they've supported Byrd all of these years."

The 91-year-old has missed a series of votes, including Thursday's 79-17 passage of historic legislation that AP reports would give the federal government "broad authority to determine how cigarettes will be made, marketed and sold."

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., voted for that measure, which could reach President Obama after a final House vote Friday.

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